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Transform Africa Summit 2017 opens in Kigali


Kigali, 10 May 2017 – Today, Transform Africa Summit 2017 kicks off in Kigali. In its third edition, the Summit brings together over 3,500 delegates from across Africa and the globe to discuss how African cities can leverage data and technology to efficiently handle their unique and complex challenges.

The Summit, which runs from 10-12 May 2017, serves as a platform for various leaders from the public sector, private sector, international organisations, academia and civil society to devise ways to propel Africa’s digital transformation.

In a conversation on African Smart Cities and the partnerships that shall foster the transition to innovation-based societies, President Paul Kagame called on leaders across Africa to leverage ICT towards improving citizens’ wellbeing.

“Africa is not as prosperous as it should be because our cities are too small and disconnected. This situation is changing rapidly and Africa looks set to emerge as one of the planet’s great centres of growth, innovation, and opportunity in the generations ahead,” President Kagame said.

The Head of State further encouraged leaders and private sector players to put technology in the hands of African citizens in order to build inclusive and sustainable places to live.

During the Summit’s opening, the Africa Smart Cities Blueprint was unveiled. Resulting from the leadership of the Republic of Rwanda on the Smart Cities flagship project, the Blueprint was jointly developed by a wide range of stakeholders from the Smart Africa Member States, private sector, non-governmental organisations, academia and civil society.

The Blueprint highlights key building blocks for African Smart Cities, outlines policy and regulation considerations; and the financing models that shall fast-track the transition to sustainable smart cities.

The Smart Cities initiative aims to leverage technology solutions to improve efficiency in cities’ service delivery. This has seen Rwanda roll out various developments including: WI-FI in public areas and public transport vehicles as well as cashless payment systems in different public and private services.

President Faure Gnassignbe of Togo, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada and First Lady Nana Trovoada of São Tomé and Príncipe, First Lady Jeannette Kagame of Rwanda, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Vice President Inonge Wina of Zambia, and ICT Ministers from across the continent also attended the opening plenary.

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